How Popcorn Maker adds a new layer of information to a TEDTalk

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This morning, we’re thrilled to present a TEDTalk as you have never seen a TEDTalk before — with a clickable layer of information that anyone can add to, edit or remix.

Working on Beau Lotto and Amy O’Toole’s new TEDTalk, the team at Mozilla used their new web-based video editing / annotating tool, Popcorn Maker. Today’s TED Talk from Ryan Merkley offers an early look at the tool from this summer at TEDGlobal.

Watch Beau and Amy’s talk below and click on the pop-ups to grab links to their papers, video, maps, Wikipedia references and much more data — as well as inspiring quotes from experts in the field of play and education.

At TED, we’re excited by the potential of Popcorn Maker to create an ecosystem of deeper, richer information around TEDTalks — from our editorial team, from speakers, and from you, our audience. Check out the beta version of Popcorn Maker yourself — and play.

You can remix the Beau Lotto video here >>

… or use this same link and follow the onscreen prompts to remix your own video.

Important: This is late-stage beta software, Version 0.9, so it has all the features of the full release version, but is not yet final; work created in the beta may not be saved once Version 1 is released. Mozilla has made this beta version available so you can play, get to know the tool, and give feedback. Join the Popcorn Maker QA community >>

And if you create something you’d like to share, hit the comments below!

Version 1.0 of Popcorn Maker will launch on November 9.

Below, read Mozilla’s FAQ about Popcorn Maker.


What is Popcorn Maker?
It’s a free web application that lets you augment any video or audio file on the web by layering in services and content from the web, using a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Who is it for?
Popcorn Maker is for anyone who wants to quickly create video and audio experiences that weave in content from across the web to add context and added relevance to their media.

Why Popcorn Maker?
Video arrived on the web in a small box, and there it has remained. In over a decade, the only thing that has changed about video on the web is the size of the box, and the quality of the picture.

But video has changed dramatically for creators. Once the domain of professionals, video can be made and edited by anyone at any skill level. All you need is a camera and a computer — or a mobile phone.

And while the web has come to be defined by remixing and sharing with simple web tools, video has been left out: It is still mostly a one-way medium. Something we make and send, not remix and interact with. Popcorn Maker changes that.

Popcorn Maker puts the the power to create interactive video that works like the web into the hands of anyone with an idea and a web browser.

Who built Popcorn Maker?
Popcorn Maker is a unique collaboration with Mozilla, the Centre for Development of Open Technology at Seneca College, and volunteers from the Mozilla community. The project is a result of the Mozilla Webmaker project – over several years, Mozilla has participated in a joint innovation effort with young media makers, filmmakers, journalists and aspiring creators to develop this tool.

What is Popcorn.js?
Popcorn.js is the open source software library that powers Popcorn Maker. Creators from PBS (Public Broadcasting System), NPR (National Public Radio), the NFB (National Film Board of Canada), Arte France, The People’s Choice Awards,, and countless individual webmakers use Popcorn.js every day to create next generation multimedia experiences.

TED’s tips:

The TED Blog is hosted on, which accepts video from trusted sites using a shortcode. WordPress sites with the protected embed tool will be able to embed it. That tool looks like this, on the post authoring toolbar:

(Thanks to our own Aaron Weyenberg for that tip.)

If you want to play with your own video, click to edit Beau and Amy’s talk, then click on the “Media” button at right to insert your own online video from YouTube, Vimeo or a few other sources. In the clip above, we’re starting to Popcorn up our legendary 1984 demo of the compact disc …